Radical Ranch: Van Leeuwen Markets Hidden Valley Ranch Ice Cream

Reviews are in; it’s as bad as you think


Audrey White, Opinions Sections Editor

We’ve all heard those jokes about how much Midwesterners love ranch. Well, ice cream company Van Leeuwen decided to sell the bizarre flavor of- you guessed it, ranch. As someone who loves ranch on a variety of foods, I knew I had to test taste this ice cream and see if it truly tasted like ranch, and if the flavor profile fit the ice cream appropriately.


Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is a company that is best known for its unique, and sometimes controversial ice cream flavors. In the past, Van Leeuwen has also produced Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Royal Wedding Cake, and Pizza flavored ice creams. 


Amidst my frantic research relating to the ranch ice cream, many people recommended eating the cold cream with potato chips and pretzels. The ice cream carton resembled Hidden Valley’s ranch bottle, and then the cream itself simply looked like vanilla bean.  At first taste, the ice cream was incredibly disappointing- tasting of vanilla bean, with which it shared its appearance. The ice cream also had mild hints of onion and garlic. If someone were to give this ice cream to me and not tell me what it was, I would only think that the flavor was slightly off vanilla ice cream. Overall, I was quite unimpressed. Although, the saltiness from the potato chips contrasted delectably with the frosty cream. After a few days, I decided I would try another sample of the frozen treat and had a completely different take on this indulgence. Alas! Strong flavors of the ranch came through- overpoweringly so. The spices used in the ice cream really shone through, creating an insistent buttermilk-esque flavor, instead of the lacking notes I tasted before. 


My issue with the ice cream is ironic. Originally it didn’t taste enough like ranch, leaving me dispirited. But then, the taste of ranch was so strong that I realized that my beloved condiment does not work for me personally, as a summer-time frozen dessert. I hope to sample other peculiar ice cream flavors in the future, however, ranch-flavored ice cream is not a flavor I will be craving, as the texture of ice cream clashes with the robust tang.


This limited-time treat will be available until May 28. If you’re interested in this funky ice cream for the fun of it, I’d suggest you try it! While I have a difficult time seeing this flavor being something people would want a bowl of, it is an oddity to try with friends.